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Crab and abalone production pushed

March 18, 2010


February 26, 2010, 5:27pm

The DepartmentT of Agriculture (DA) is stepping up the production of blue crabs and abalone to commercial quantities this year and eventually export them overseas, where these marine products are in high demand at a high prices.

In preparation for the commercial production of blue crab and abalone, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) had set up a seaweed farm in the mariculture park of Basey in Samar where the project would be pilot-tested.

In line with this, BFAR also put in place tanks for the reproduction of abalone juveniles. These, BFAR said, have the capacity to hold 40,000 to 50,000 juveniles.

“The expansion of hatcheries for abalone and blue crab will pave the way for the commercial production of these two marine products, which are of high value but require low-cost inputs,” BFAR assistant director Gil Adora said in a report to Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.

Blue crabs feed only on small plants and fishes while abalone feeds on a certain species of red algae that can be easily cultured. It takes eight months to raise abalone, while blue crabs are cultured for four months in a pond before reaching marketable

BFAR is also collaborating with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and nongovernment organizations in Northern Samar in a project meant to help small mudcrab catchers improve their income and ensure the sustainability of this fishery resource in four municipalities in the province. BFAR and the SEAFDEC-Aquaculture Department (AQD) has been helping these catchers to adopt mudcrab production technologies developed from studies funded by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research.

In partnership with SEAFDEC-AQD and the National Irrigation Administration, BFAR is also carrying out a freshwater aquaculture production program in Capiz to help improve the living conditions of marginal farmers in the municipality of Dumarao benefited by the implementation of Badbaran community irrigation project.

In Misamis Occidental, SEAFDEC-AQD also provided technical assistance in improving the production of the province’s aquamarine park multi-species hatchery by extending technologies it had developed on the hatchery and grow-out of grouper or lapu-lapu, with BFAR monitoring the implementation of the project.

The DA’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), is likewise stepping up the implementation of a tilapia production project in Laurel, Batangas where the Land Bank granted P500,000 loan for 30 fisherfolk beneficiaries. This tilapia production project is covered by the Fisheries Financing Program, a joint undertaking of ACPC, BFAR and Land Bank.

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